Fans in attendance at Travis Scott's annual Astroworld Festival concert quickly had their elation turn to horror after the show became a "mass casualty incident," according to Houston officials. The show, which took place on Nov. 5, 2021, is now one of the worst musical concert tragedies in U.S. history.
Devastating fatalities at the concert have caused mass fan concern. Many are asking Travis Scott and other festival organizers to take responsibility for the preventable tragedies that occurred. Fans have also been wondering what led to deaths at the concert, which hosted 50,000 people. While many details of the event's fatalities are still being pieced together, here's what we know so far about how people died.
How did people die at Travis Scott's concert?
Following the tragedy at the festival, reports from Houston authorities, medical personnel at the concert, and eyewitness accounts have flooded through the media detailing a disturbing series of events. Per USA Today, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told a news conference on Nov. 6, 2021, that twenty-five people were transported to the hospital, and thirteen are still hospitalized.
Among the hospitalized is a ten-year-old in critical condition. There were a total of eight victims, ranging in age from fourteen to twenty-seven, Mayor Turner said. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo added that autopsies will be performed before the victims' remains are returned to their families.
In a report from The Daily Beast, one parent revealed their child's suspected cause of death. The mother of Franco Patino, who passed away at the event, told Washington Post her son's "heart stopped" after being crushed by the crowd. Other victims are currently in the process of being identified.
Currently, most causes of death are not confirmed, but Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña described the circumstances surrounding the mass causality incident. "The crowd began to compress toward the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries," said Peña. "People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic."
Astroworld promoters had medical personnel and emergency transport at the event, but the fire chief added that they were "quickly overwhelmed" as the injury count rose. Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite was near the front of the crowd and described the scene.
"Suddenly, we had several people down on the ground, experiencing some type of cardiac arrest or some type of medical episode," Satterwhite said. "And so we immediately started doing CPR and moving people right then, and that’s when I went and met with the promoters and Live Nation, and they agreed to end early in the interest of public safety."
Additionally, TMZ reported that Houston Police Chief Troy Finner confirmed that authorities were investigating at least one person being injected with an unknown substance via needle during the event. One of the reported victims of this experience was a security guard, who was then revived via Narcan.
Until further information is available, it sounds like both the overwhelming crowd and potential drug activity could be credited to deaths at the festival. There are several GoFundMes for victims of the tragedy, and Houston organization CrowdSource Rescue has been attempting to contact families to provide support for funeral expenses for those looking to help.